By Nigel Stephenson LONDON (Reuters) - Stocks in Europe and Asia looked set on Monday for their worst monthly losses in at least three years, with investors still concerned about growth in China and the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates. Falling share prices helped put pressure on the dollar, though weekend comments from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers leaving the door open to a rise in interest rates as soon as next month kept it well above last week's seven-month lows. Oil prices fell again both on the Fed rates outlook and as investors took profits on last week's 10 percent rise.
Citigroup plans to rebuild its long-neglected equities franchise seeking to capitalize on a retrenchment by rivals in the face of new rules designed to make the financial system less risky, according people familiar with the bank's plans. Citi has also hired 11 analysts so far this year to support its investment advisory business, and is increasing financing of the unit in general, said the sources, who did not have permission to be quoted in the media.
After a dizzying two weeks that saw a rapid plunge and rebound in equity prices, investors are looking forward to a week of economic data that may provide clarity on the likelihood of a near-term U.S. interest rate hike and help tamp down the market's recent wild swings. The economic figures will culminate in Friday’s jobs report that should reveal more about the strength of the U.S. economy. Car sales, construction spending, the Federal Reserve's "beige book" and jobs growth may show the economy is strong enough to withstand the first rate hike in nearly a decade from the Federal Reserve, despite worries about a hard landing for China’s economy.